Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meet the Hispanic Writer Awardee: Donna Gutierrez

Albuquerque native Donna Gutierrez is this year’s winner of the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference Hispanic Writer scholarship award. Gutierrez says, “I am so excited! This year, everything lined up just right for me, and I am looking forward to attending my workshop and being in the company of such wonderful and talented people.” She will take advantage of the award to attend Laura Brodie’s Intermediate/Advanced Novel-in-Progress weeklong workshop. In addition, Gutierrez will do a reading of her work at 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 16th at the Sagebrush Conference Inn Center in Taos, NM. This event is free and open to the public.

Gutierrez is a student in the Master’s of Fine Art program at the University of New Mexico (UNM) English Department as well as works as an Extended Learning Project Manager in the New Media and Extended Learning unit of UNM’s Extended University. Her writing explores the theme of diminished expectations, asking, “How do we live our lives when we find that things don’t always turn out the way we planned?”

Raised in a home where resources were so tight there was no paper on which to write, Gutierrez applied her No. 2 pencil to writing her stories on the family’s old white Frigidaire refrigerator as a child. From those beginnings, tracing her New Mexico roots to the farms and ranches of Chilili, NM, one of North America’s oldest settlements, to her professional career in digital technologies, Gutierrez’s writing delves into what it means to straddle fences, or worlds, as it were. “I often feel as though my older relatives have no idea of what I do. Also, people that I talk to at work have no real idea about what it is like to grow up with so little money, there wasn’t any extra for writing paper. Writing on the refrigerator is not common to most people.”

Congratulations Donna!

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